Commission on the River

Commission on the River

Archived Posts 2013

Commission Receives New Logo

A big thank-you to Amanda (Russell) Ngur, a graphic designer in UT's University Marketing office, who has designed this logo for us to use. Great work, Amanda!

River Commission Logo

2013 River Commission Photo Contest Winners

The results are in! Please download this PDF to see our winners and their photos: Photo Contest Winners.

UT Ottawa River Restoration Project: Recent links on YouTube

Additional information on the in-stream habitat work completed along the 3,800 feet of the Ottawa River on the main campus of UT in August 2013 can now be found at:

celebrate our river (artwork)

2013 Celebrate Our River Week

September 18 – 21, 2013

  • Wednesday, September 18th to Friday September 20th
    Video and poster displays in Carlson Library.

  • Thursday, September 19th
    Announcement of the 2nd Annual Student River Photography Contest awards (Student River Plaza).  Entries are due on Monday, September 16th. For more information or to submit an entry, please contact:
  • Friday, September 20th
    Dedication and ribbon cutting for river restoration project (bridge at East Parking Garage).
  • Saturday September 21st at 8:00AM
    Clean Your Streams (Law School Patio). Groups are required to pre-register by Monday, September 16th, at

UT Ottawa River Restoration Project UPDATE August 2013

By Dr. Patrick Lawrence
Chair, UT President’s Commission on the River

Construction on the in-stream restoration for the Ottawa River at UT main campus has been completed with the install of a range of in-stream habitat structures from reach 2 (at CPA building) downstream to end of reach 5 (next to East Parking garage). Information on the design plans can be found on this webpage, right hand side folders.

Restoration work on the Ottawa River in August 2013
Photo credit: Daniel Miller, UT News August 19, 2013

Appreciation extended to all those who assisted with the project including the funding agencies OEPA and USFWS, the U.S. ACOE design team with Dave Derrick overseeing construction, Matt Horvat from TMACOG, Tim Walters of EnviroScience, Cherie Blair OEPA and Kris Patterson from Partners for Clean Streams. Dave Hails and his staff from Ecological Restoration Inc. was the lead contractor. Additional assistance was provided by UT Facilities and Construction, especially Doug Collins and work crews from UT Grounds.

Bank clearing of invasive species along the river bank was done in July by student workers of the Maumee Corp from Partners for Clean Streams funded under a federal environmental job grant from NOAA.

The cleared river bank areas were hydro-seeded with follow-up plantings of trees, bank plants and aquatic plants to be completed in August through October. The in-stream structures will be monitored over the next year for any necessary adjustments following high flow events, with fish population studies next spring/summer, and further OEPA aquatic habitat assessment in 2014 or 2015.

For those interested here are the recent media articles on the UT project:

YouTube videos of the install of the hydraulic cover stones can be found at:

If you are on Facebook, various videos and photos of the work as it proceeded can be found on our Facebook page at: Just send me a friend request on Facebook if you would like to join that page. In the coming weeks we will also post more project updates here on the Commission webpage, which eventually will have folder solely dedicated to the project with photos, reports and videos. In the meantime if you would like additional information on this project, please contact me.

Dr. Patrick Lawrence
Chair, UT President's Commission on the River

Final phase of Ottawa River restoration to begin July 29

By Meghan Cunningham : July 16th, 2013. Original source:

The restoration of the portion of the Ottawa River flowing through The University of Toledo Main Campus soon will be complete with the final phase of in-stream work to begin this month.

Restoration work on the Ottawa River started last week as non-native plants were cleared from the riverbanks. Major in-stream construction work is scheduled to begin Monday, July 29.

Restoration work on the Ottawa River started last week as non-native plants were cleared from the riverbanks. Major in-stream construction work is scheduled to begin Monday, July 29.

Restoration work on the Ottawa River started last week as non-native plants were cleared from the riverbanks. Major in-stream construction work is scheduled to begin Monday, July 29.

Student workers of the Maumee Conservation Corps from Partners for Clean Streams already have begun clearing of the riverbanks to prepare for the major in-stream construction work that is scheduled to begin Monday, July 29. The clearing will remove non-native invasive plants along the riverbank with no extensive removal of trees planned, and replanting of native species will take place later this summer.

“This phase will focus on aquatic improvements, including adding large rocks and logs to mimic natural water flow and get a ripple effect in the water,” said Dr. Patrick Lawrence, professor and chair of the Department of Geography and Planning, and chair of the President’s Commission on the River. “Right now the river is essentially uniform with very limited ripples or turbulence. Adding these natural materials will make for more diversity to the aquatic habitat giving fish and other aquatic organisms more places for nesting, spawning, food and shelter.”

The President’s Commission on the River in 2009 started the habitat restoration efforts for the 3,700 feet of the waterway that runs through Main Campus. This current work is funded with a $235,000 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and a $151,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and represents the largest project undertaken to date by the commission. The restoration project also involves the assistance of Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, EnviroScience, Partners for Clean Streams, Ohio EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Ecological Restoration Inc. has been hired for the final in-stream restoration phase, which is scheduled to be complete Aug. 16. Signs will be placed along the river to inform the community of the work being done; however, no bridges or roads will be closed during the restoration, and disruptions to the University community will be kept to a minimum, Lawrence said. A workshop and public tour about the project are being planned for early August.

Summer is the best time to complete the project because there are fewer people on campus, the river water is at its lowest levels, and it is after the fish-spawning season during the spring, reducing impacts to the natural habitats, Lawrence said.

The in-stream work is the final phase of the project that has included adding more than 300 native plants and trees along the banks of the river and creating a cut bank area near the Law Center last summer that will allow for more water storage during higher river levels.

Another related milestone for the Ottawa River on Main Campus was achieved in February 2012 when the fish consumption advisory, with the exception of carp, was lifted for the river by the Ohio Department of Health and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. The advisory had dated back to 1991 when it was issued by the Ohio Department of Health as a result of the decades of manufacturing activity and improper waste disposal of hazardous substances in the Ottawa River and its watershed.

“We have more than 40 fish species in the river, and we’ve noticed additional wildlife such as small mammals, birds, turtles, frogs, mallard ducks and Canada geese,” Lawrence said. “We look forward to the completion of the restoration that will further enhance the river and add more wildlife diversity.”

UT Ottawa River Restoration Project Update

By Patrick Lawrence: April 26th, 2013

Final planning is underway for phase II of the UT Ottawa River Restoration Project involving the installation of in-stream habitat structures in the river this summer. Selected clearing of brush and shrubs will start in May/June, with the in-stream construction activities beginning in late July. Look for more project signage, updates on this page, and articles in UT News as the work proceeds this summer. For more information on the restoration features and concept plans please refer to this project update and other related links on the lower right of this page.

2012 Annual Report Posted

2012 Annual Report Cover ArtworkThe 2012 Annual Report of the President's Commission on the River is now available. Thanks again to everyone for their efforts and support this year and into 2013.


Dr. Patrick Lawrence

Chair, UT President's Commission on the River


Archived Posts

Last Updated: 6/27/22